#MusicMonday – August 26, 2019

It’s dangerous to go alone on Monday.  Take music with you!

Ok, it’s only Monday, not an epic quest, but don’t you wish someone would offer some kind of protection to you as a way to get through Monday?

No?  Am I the only one who feels that way?  Surely I’m not…

Anyway, I was thinking of something a little different to start off the week on the right musical note.

When I was playing The Legend of Zelda eleven years ago, after getting my Nintendo Wii, I was listening to the theme, as I had many other times in my life (mostly as a kid), and thought about how the song had a feel primed for an orchestra’s crafty work. I’d heard a “modernized” version on Super Smash Bros. Melee on the Game Cube, and loved it, so of course, if it could be redone for modern video games, it could be done by an orchestra.

And done it was!

In honor of the game’s 25th anniversary in 2011, Koji Kondo’s original song, part of a game about a boy named Link who sets out to collect the eight fragments of the Triforce of Wisdom in order to rescue Princess Zelda from the antagonist of the game, Ganon.  Many games, and several generations of gaming systems later (not to mention cartoons and merchandising like you wouldn’t believe!), Link is still out there saving the day.

And despite all that, we can’t possibly forget this version of Link…

My mom really hated Link’s cartoon on the Super Mario Bros. Super Show.  Can’t begin to figure out why…

Anyway, through all the years and design changes, one thing has managed to persevere for Link – his incredible theme song.  Composed as one of five music tracks for the original game by Koji Kondo (credited as Konchan), the song is one that really sets the tone for Link’s adventures.  Kondo planned to use Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero,” but the copyright for the orchestral piece had not yet expired (and didn’t until 1998).  Like all great innovations, this change was done late in the development stage.

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Koji Kondo in 2015 – By Nico Hofmann – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, (Source: WikiCommons)

It is interesting to find out that Kondo himself was a video game-playing college kid, and wasn’t finished with college when he applied for a job with Nintendo (without a demo tape) for a job composing music and programming sound.  He had been composing and arranging pieces on his piano, as well as programming sounds in BASIC.

Kondo not only composed The Legend of Zelda, but also some of the most important soundtracks for some of the most important (and iconic, don’t forget iconic!) Nintendo games of the earliest years, including various Super Mario Bros. games (including Doki Doki Panic, which became Super Mario Bros. 2 in North America), and of course, the many Legend of Zelda games that followed the 1986 version.  (Complete list – source: Wikipedia)

I have this beautiful orchestral version on my iPod, but I have no idea where I found it.  However, the 25th anniversary version of the main theme is just as beautiful as the one I found probably from around the same time.

Click play to listen, and you’ll feel as victorious as Link piecing the TriForce together, and saving the day!

Admit it, this really gets your heart pumping, doesn’t it?

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Here’s to your Monday feeling just as victorious!

Have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!

 

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